As I sit here all alone in a hotel room — far from home — and write about my family and myself and my past…I am looking at photographs of the magical, tragic, fabulous kin from whence I came — including my Grandfather, Thomas (far left, pictured here with his two brothers) — his thick, beautiful hair, his charming, lop-sided, little boy bow-tie, his chin defiantly tipped up ever so slightly, his left hand holding the tiny hand of his baby brother, Louis.
That little boy, my Grandfather, the son of two Italian immigrants, grew up to be a Vaudeville dancer and performer who died in his mid-20s, not long after my father, also Thomas, was born — breaking my Great-Grandmother, Maria’s, great, rollicking, magnanimous heart forever.
So, here I sit in 2016, gazing into my grandfather’s eyes and smiling back through time at his little face — so young, so hopeful, his whole life ahead of him — a life that would turn out to be far too short. I wish with all my heart that I could have known him. I wish with all my heart that I could speak to him now. And, so, I sit and look and listen, reaching back in time to him…to see if I can hear his voice reaching forward towards me.
That little boy’s face is where my wondrous, improbable, ridiculous story begins.
Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and hipmama.com. She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
So beautiful, Muffy.